We’re all sick of those corny stock images we see all day—a thin, young white woman doing yoga or striding through an office. It’s not what most of us in America look like right now. So Dove (which has long been the brand that celebrates “Real Women”), Getty Images (a major stock photography house, and the female-led creative agency Girlgaze have done something about it.
A staggering 70 percent of females say they didn’t feel accurately reflected in media imagery.
They just debuted Project #ShowUs, a collection that’s 5,000 photos strong, engineered to “show women as they are, not as others believe they should be.” The creators also promise there’s “no digital distortion, just an unapologetically inclusive vision of beauty.” And the plan is to double the number of images available in the next year. These will join Getty’s other images—the supply that art directors everywhere use when crafting ads, websites, packaging, and presentations.
Working with 100+ female and gender-fluid photographers in 39 countries, Getty gave the people behind the lens the opportunity to capture their subjects in all their individual glory, from freckled faces to those with albinism to women with glorious gray hair. Another fresh facet is that the photographers can tag their work with the terms of their choice, like “bosslady.”
Part of the motivation to create this kind of imagery came from a major study Dove conducted, interviewing 9,000 women to learn how they feel about their looks. The research found that over the last 10 years, the number of women who said their self-esteem suffered due to unrealistic media images had more than doubled. A staggering 70 percent of females say they didn’t feel accurately reflected in media imagery. A similar number said they hoped those in power would do a better job of portraying the real range of ages, races, sizes, and shapes so the women in photos look like we do in real life. Sounds like a plan—and a good one.